Report a Discovery of Human Skeletal Remains
Human skeletal remains, grave markers and grave
artifacts are inadvertently exposed through natural events, such
as erosion and receding flood waters. Archaeological investigations,
vegetation clearing, and new construction have also disturbed
unmarked and unrecorded human burial areas. The Human Skeletal
Remains Protection Act and its administrative codes established
protocols to address these accidental discoveries.
Inadvertent discoveries of suspected human bones
should be reported to this
office and all work must stop until a determination of their
origin is made. If possible, leave the bone(s) in place and take
several digital photographs of it. Remember to include a scale,
such as a pen or ruler, to show the bone’s size. If the
bone is human, then the county coroner must be notified within
48 hours of the discovery. If you don’t know the coroner’s
contact information, you should notify the sheriff’s department.
The coroner’s office will investigate the discovery to determine
if the remains represent a recent death and additional investigations
are warranted. If the human skeletal remains, grave artifacts,
or grave marker are determined to be older than 100 years and
not located in a registered cemetery, then jurisdiction is transferred
to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency for further investigation.